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Old 08-30-2011, 10:04 AM
 
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My husband is looking at jobs in Chicago and most of them are downtown, one looking pretty promising. We live in Champaign right now with 3 young girls. My husband doesn't want to live too far away from his job, but I also don't want to live in the city with kids. Good schools, neighborhoods are a must. Any suggestions on what towns that aren't too far of a commute for him? I am a stay at home mom so I want to make sure there are plenty of things for us to do. Right now we are going to rent our house out and rent another house in the Chicago area for about a year or so. I'd like the rent to be around the $1500 range, give or take.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:11 AM
 
Location: Oak Park, IL
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What is your definition of "too far"?
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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I'd say no more than 30 minutes. I am looking around the Lombard/Addison area, but not sure with traffic how far that would be. It says 30 minutes...but who knows.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:29 AM
 
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That rent you budgeted will not get you much in either the desirable 'burbs or even a safe/manageable neighborhood inside Chicago. I think with three kids you will want at least a three bedroom place with two baths. That will not be easy to find for $1500. If you are seeing options in Addison I would caution that it has a larger than average number of rental complexes that attract lower income families. This strains the schools and may not be ideal. Long drive to downtown Chicago too.

If work is downtown / the Loop your husband can commute via MetraRail -- the best burbs are around 20 minutes when rush hour expresses run and off peak schedule should add about 50% or so. Of course you pay a premium to live in towns with short commute and well rated school - some folks rent nice houses for about double your budget, though their are options around $2000/mo too...

Follow the BNSF west through Berwynn all the way to Aurora. That will have the fastest travel times. For a bit longer explore towns along the UP-W line from Oak Park past Geneva. About the same travel times can be found on the UP-NW line from Park Ridge through Barrington and beyond. UP-N from Ravenswood (in Chicago) through Evanston and all the way into Kenosha WI (which really stretches commmutes to limit, but money goes farther... The MD-N hits some quieter parts of Chicago (like Edgebrook) as well as nicer 'burbs like Glenview, Northbrook, Deerfield and Liberyville -- all are worth considering, though none are "bargains".

Depending on what sort of house you are used to and what sort of activities you like to take in with the kids you might explore some towns that are a "mid points" -- Lisle is close enough to Naperville that the savings might be worth the trip, and you'd be close to both the Dupage Childrens Museum in Naperville as well as Morton Arboretum. Wheaton puts you a bit north of their, but you gain access to Cantigny. Arlington Heights is a fairly well developed town that has a central-ish location. Highwood is probably the way to be close to the North Shore and still have some affordable housing options with access to desirable schools...
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:03 AM
 
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$1500 was just an average. I've been driving myself crazy looking a houses. A lot are in the $1700 range, which is fine with us. My husband said he would take the train to work, but didn't want to be more than a half hour out of Chicago. I will also be commuting every other Friday to Central IL, so being closer to the southern/central burbs would be ideal. Highwood looks to be too far north.
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Old 09-13-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
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being close to I-294 will help. I travel downstate a lot and from Arlington Heights(I'm on Palatine halfway between I-294 and IL 53) , going south on I-294 to I-57 in the morning and returning in the evening is OK; it is opposite the heavier commuter traffic flow happens. Taking IL 53/I-290/I-355 to I-55 is similar in that going south in the morning and north in the afternoon is opposite the heavier commuter flow. Some of the western suburbs would be good; I like Elmhurst, Glen Ellyn, Downers Grove-not sure what rents would be in those communities.
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Old 09-14-2011, 08:59 AM
 
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Thank you. Do you know anything about the Glen Ellyn school district? Looks like we are going towards the Lombard/Glen Ellyn area, and the school district is in Glen Ellyn.
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Old 09-14-2011, 01:35 PM
 
Location: Lake Arlington Heights, IL
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I don't know the details of district numbers or attendance boundaries. Maybe Mr. Chet will have that info.
Here is a link to IL school district test scores: Illinois Interactive Report Card
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:25 AM
 
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Until he gets the job and knows the actual location it is hard to say. The south suburbs may look good, but that won't work if the job is in Schaumburg.
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Old 09-15-2011, 05:51 AM
 
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Default Could be a good choice...

The broad area that includes most of "in-town" Glen Ellyn and the adjacent areas (including some unincorporated areas...) has been a popular choice for folks moving out from Chicago as well as relocation specialists. Downtown Glen Ellyn is high on the charming shops and restaurants scale, the schools have performed well and the neighborhoods have a mostly attractive mix of older homes that have been updated with plenty of larger tear downs too.

That said the performance numbers are a bit of step down from Naperville 203, which is a notch below Hinsdale/ Clarendon Hills 181-86. Still, the numbers are mostly good, and if the affordability / access to northern / northwest burbs is better that would be a totally understandable trade off.

I will caution that even on the foreclosures / short sales that mean seem like a good bargain you have to be careful not to buy the most improved home in a neighborhood. The taxes can be quite high, and if your home is bigger / newer than others the odds of any reduction are nil...

As you move toward Morton Arboretum and closer to the fringes of Glen Ellyn the uniformity of development gives way to some rather more country-like properties - some of those that are larger saw their assessments spike when neighbors re-subdivided.

At the other end of things there are some "belts" of apartment complexes (many near College of DuPage, and more north of town too) that, while be no means as violent as those in Chicago, do have more transient residents, which tends to drive up petty crime and drive down school performance. Folks that took a chance on tear downs too near to those complexes have seen their investment wither....

If you stick to the established areas you will be much more likely to get a home in an area where values probably won't whipsaw quite so much. There was a brief period before things tumbled when prices in the most desirable sectionsnof Glen Ellyn were higher than pretty much any other town in DuPage Co, the developers that fuels that bidding war have largely gone broke.

Finally the trains on the UP-W line rarely get as crowded as the most jammed expresses to Naperville, but they also tend to run a little less frequently and travel a little more slowly. An extra ten minutes or so might not seem like a big deal, but over the months it does add up. It can mean the difference between putting in a full day in the office with actual daylight for both ends of the commute or having to endure the shorter days or winter with a whole lot of dark commutes. Not a deal breaker, but a factor to consider when looking to compare towns.

Quote:
Originally Posted by StacyR86 View Post
Thank you. Do you know anything about the Glen Ellyn school district? Looks like we are going towards the Lombard/Glen Ellyn area, and the school district is in Glen Ellyn.
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